The Tyranny of Taste: The Politics of Architecture and Design in Britain, 1550-1960 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

The Tyranny of Taste: The Politics of Architecture and Design in Britain, 1550-1960 (The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

By: Jules Lubbock (author)Hardback

Up to 2 WeeksUsually despatched within 2 weeks


How do countries acquire their distinctive features and appearance, their look or style? In this stimulating book, Jules Lubbock answers this question by focusing on Britain, with its characteristic terraced houses, Georgian squares, postwar slab blocks, and Victorian floral ornamentation. Lubbock traces the fierce debates over consumerism, good design, and town planning that have raged in Britain since the Elizabethan period, investigating how the design of buildings and possessions-domestic as well as official-becomes an issue of public policy and controversy. Lubbock discusses the ideas, policies, and motivations of designers and commentators from 1550 to the present, including such figures as Charles I, Inigo Jones, Joseph Addison, Pope, Hogarth, Pugin, Dickens, Ruskin, and Le Corbusier. He describes the growing public awareness that taste and beauty are related to economic growth, that there is what he calls a political economy of design. He shows, for example, that London was shaped by a desire to control its expansion in order to maintain social stability in the face of the developing industrial and commercial revolution; that Puritans believed that the high consumption of luxury goods essential to prosperity could be made morally acceptable through good design; and that the court of James I consciously adopted classicism as the appropriate style for the newly joined kingdoms of England and Scotland. Lubbock shows the different ways in which architecture, design, planning, and style were believed to contribute to a "Good Society." He suggests that the political economy of design was not only viable in the past but can also provide an essential framework for the future.

About Author

Jules Lubbock is lecturer in art history and theory at the University of Essex.


Introduction PART 1 - THE CONSUMER SOCIETY: London - The First Modem City; Portrait of an Economy; A New Economic Theory. PART 11 - THE STABLE SOCIETY: Preface; The Control of London's Expansion; Seating the Gentry: Competing Motives - Competitive Consumption or Noblesse Oblige?, A Common Task: What was the Function of Gentry Residence?, Both Ruler and Ruled; Projects and Manufactures: "Nifles, Trifles", Design Manufactures. PART III - THE LUXURY DEBATE: Preface: History and Ideas; The Luxury Debate, 1559 - 1660; Competitive Consumption: Barbon: The Infinitive Wants of the Mind, Mandeville; The Spectator; David Hume; Adam Smith: Beauty and Economic Growth, Improvements in Production, The Progress of Opulence. PART IV - STYLE AND ECONOMICS - 17th & 18th CENTURIES: Preface; The Early Stuarts: Penshurst and the Old Fashion of England, The "Meaning of Classicism", "Arbiter Elegantiarum"; The Spectator and Pope; Hogarth's Analysis of Beauty. PART V - DESIGNER REFORM: Preface; The Encouragement of the Arts of Design in the Eighteenth Century; The Condition of England; Pugin; The Schools of Design and the Great Exhibition; The Opponents of Design Reform; Ruskin. PART VI - MODERN MOVEMENT AND WELFARE STATE: Preface; Design, Interiors and Personal Consumption: The Modem Style: Loos and Le Corbusier, British Design Debates in the '30s and '40s; Architecture: The Interior, The Struggle for Light, Free Love and Free Planning; Town Planning: Modernist Painting, Depressed Areas and Land Use Planning, Town Planning 1906-1947, Framing the 1947 Act; Modernist Ideas into Action: Daylighting and Density Control, Architect Planners. PART VII - CONCLUSION: PLATO'S CONUNDRUM.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780300058895
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 430
  • ID: 9780300058895
  • weight: 1479
  • ISBN10: 0300058896

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly